Praying to Mary?


Okay. So someone was talking to me… and we both just brought this Bible Verse up…

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

and then that kind of confused me because I am not sure what about Mary? I am not sure.:shrug:

Then he wrote:

"As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:27-28

Also, is it true that in the Catholic Church that you are not really supposed to read much of the Bible… instead leave it to the priest??

Ugh… this is really saddening me… and I am not sure what to do! :blush::shrug::(:confused::eek:


At the wedding feats at Canna, Mary told Jesus that they had no wine. He said, “What is it to me? My hour has not yet come”. Mary did not argue with Him but told the servants to do whatever He asked. So He turned water into wine. As the mother of God she can get him to do what she wants. What better a person to intercede for us. Mary is not a God but she intercedes for us.

Who said that you are not supposed to read the bible? You get special indulgences if you read the bible for half an hour or more.


OK, yes, Jesus is “The” mediator between all of us and the Father. . .

But we can ALL be mediators for one another as well.

Mary is not somebody we go to INSTEAD of Jesus; Mary is somebody who goes WITH US to Jesus.

Also the verse from Luke is badly translated. What Jesus said in response to the woman was not a ‘diss’ of His mother, but this:’'Yes, and EVEN MORE, blessed are those who hear the word of God. . ."

Now tell me, WHO did Jesus know who heard the word of God and obeyed it? His disciples? Not really. . .wait. . .IT WAS HIS MOTHER.

Jesus was acknowledging that even while His Mother was important AS His Mother (and blessed, which in LUKE 2 Mary acknowledges that she will be called ever-blessed, FUNNY your friend forgot THAT passage). . .She was EVEN MORE IMPORTANT for listening to God and obeying. And that we, even if couldn’t give birth to Him, could imitate her by listening to and obeying God.

And NO, we are not supposed to ‘leave the Bible to the priest’. I keep hearing this story about people who SAY that’s what they were taught 50 or 60 years ago. . .but <<> am 57 and my mom is 84, and we were not only encouraged to read the Bible at home, but in school (Catholic schools) as well. . .and our family Catholic bible which my grandfather had (from 1890!) had an INDULGENCE in it which the Pope had given for READING THE BIBLE. Gee, sure seems as though Catholics were encouraged to read the Bible!

I hope this helps.


The simple answer is that we request Mary, Mother of the Christ, to pray FOR US. She mediates (prays) for her children. Since Jesus, on the Cross, gave her to John, the “beloved disciple” as a Mother, she is understood to be Mother to all of us as well, as we are all His brothers & sisters in God’s Love, through our faith in Him. We do not worship her, we request her intercession through her prayers to God the Father and through her requests to Her Son. That does not make her the “way to God”. Mary always asks ONLY WHAT IS IN THE WILL OF GOD, JUST AS SHE DID DURING HER LIFE. Therefore, if what we ask for her to pray for is NOT in God’s will, she will not request it of God.

Second simple answer: Catholics read the Bible often, have Bible Study Groups, read the Scriptures both at home and in Convents, as well as Monasteries. We have at least 3 readings from the Scriptures each Sunday, and a minimum of two and often three at every weekday Mass. Churches in moderate to larger towns and cities have the Scriptures read out to the Congregation at every Mass, 7 days a week! We go through the entire Bible in a rotating schedule, usually 3 years, then begin again. We do not usually read page after page of the “begats” in the Old Testament, but do read every Book of the Bible. Each Mass has a reading from the Old Testament, one of the Epistles (letters) of the Apostles, a short section of the Psalms (sung or spoken) and a reading from one of the Gospels every Mass on Sunday. The Priest then gives a lesson, called a “homily” on how we can live these readings, and what they mean to us in today’s busy world, and encourage us to live these holy and inspired words.

Our Church Bulletins and Websites show the Mass Readings for the coming week, so if we are working or otherwise unable to attend daily Mass, we read them at home, so YES, Catholics read at least as much of the Bible as any of the Protestant groups do, and more than some! Our Women’s and Men’s Prayer Groups also read Scriptures at their meetings and we have Bible Study Groups which go through different Books of the Bible, and study both the Old and New Testaments, the Proverbs, and Psalms. Also, I have always heard our Priests and the Sisters in Catholic schools strongly encourage us to study and read the Scriptures!


It’s not true that Catholics aren’t supposed to read the Bible. There are Catholic Bible studies in many churches.



These are some of the horribly untrue rumors and falsehoods that simply will not die.

If your friend has EVER prayed for someone, does that mean that they shouldered Jesus aside? Nonsense! They were interceding, which is what prayer is - which is what Mary and the Saints do for us. And no, they are not dead, but very much alive, just as Jesus said (Luke 20:38, 1 Corinthians 15:22).

You get an indulgence up to and including a plenary indulgence for scripture reading (plus confession and eucharist accompanying it in the usual time frame). Does that sound like dissuading us from reading the bible?

Pray for your friend! They have been taught by the ignorant.


Here is what St. Alphonsus has to say:

"To invoke and pray to the saints, especially to the queen of saints, most holy Mary, that they may obtain for us, by their intercession, the divine favor, is not only a lawful but a useful and holy practice, and this is of faith, being established by the Councils, against heretics, who condemn it as injurious to Jesus Christ, who is our only mediator; but if a Jeremias, after his death, prays for Jerusalem; if the elders of the Apocalypse present to God the prayers of the saints; if a St. Peter promises his disciples to remember them after his death; if a St. Stephen prays for his persecutors; if a St. Paul prays for his companions; if, in a word, the saints pray for us, why may we not implore the saints to intercede for us? St. Paul commends himself to the prayers of his disciples: Pray for us: “Orate pro n obis.” St. James exhorts the Christians to pray for each other: “Pray for one another, that ye may be saved.” We may then do likewise.

No one will deny that Jesus Christ is the only mediator of justice, and that by his merits he has obtained for us reconciliation with God. But, on the other hand, it is impious to deny that God is pleased to grant favors at the intercession of the saints, and especially of Mary his mother, whom Jesus desires so much to see loved and honored by us. Every one knows that honor paid to a mother redounds to her children. Hence St. Bernard says, let not any one think that by greatly praising the mother he will throw into the shade the glories of the Son; for the more he honors the mother, so much more he honors the Son… St. Anselm well remarks," that when we implore the holy Virgin to obtain graces for us, it is not that we distrust the divine mercy, but rather that we distrust our own unworthiness, and commend ourselves to Mary that her merits may compensate for our own worthiness." (From 'The Glories of Mary)


Have you ever asked someone to pray for you? Okay, we ask our family and friends to pray for us.

However, we believe that when you die, your spirit continues to live. Remember that God said he was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He said he is a God of the living. So, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Mary, and the saints are all living.

We believe in the same way that I can ask you to pray for me, or you can me to pray for you. I can ask Mary or you can, too.

We see no difference. So, when we pray to Mary, it is to ask for her intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is what we call it when you pray for me or I pray for you. It is also what happens when Mary, the angels, or saints pray for us.

In fact, we think it’s actually better to ask Mary, the angels or saints for prayers than someone here on Earth, who isn’t in heaven. We know that Mary’s in heaven. So, we ask her to pray for us, and she does.

We don’t think of it as wrong, scandalous, or taking anything away from God to ask someone to pray for us, be they on Earth or in heaven. In fact, we see it as a good thing.

Mainly what we ask is “pray for us”.

If we were to worship Mary, then that would be different, but we’re not.

We think if we ask for something, God may or may not listen. However, he always listens to Mary.

It’s a little like how, with children, if a father says, “no”, the child will go to the mother. He will ask for her to ask. If the mother asks, the father might be more likely to say “yes”.

That’s how intercession works, basically.

A lot of Protestants like the idea of going right directly to God. However, I notice that even when God spoke to Mary, he did it through the Angel Gabriel on one occasion. He didn’t speak directly. Very often, God spoke through intermediaries.

So, we, too, often use this same system and go through intermediaries to talk to God. We do speak directly, as well. We do both.


We ask Mary and other Saints in heaven to pray for us. The same way you would ask your family and friends to pray for you.

Why? The answer is simple.

Catholics believe Mary is in Heaven. We also believe the (S)aints in heaven intercede directly with God for the (s)aints on earth. The Saints in heaven are those who the Church has deemed are worthy, righteous and justified.

For example Moses and Elijah appeared at Jesus transfiguration in person. St Peter, St James and St John saw them in flesh. How can that be when they were dead for centuries? This is proof that some amongst us are worthy to stand in the presence of God upon our death. Most of us will fall asleep and be reunited with our bodies on Judgement Day.

We believe it is good to have your friends and family on earth pray for you however, their prayers may be tainted by unconfessed sins and distractions of daily life. The Saints in Heaven are directly in the presence of God and therefore their prayers are more efficacious.

'Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: “[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Rev. 8:3-4).

And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that “the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.’


Two things:

1.) The Greek word for “one” used in that passage does not have the connotation of “only”. but rather the connotation of “primary” or “chief”.

2.) Scripture also says that God is our Creator, but does that mean that I can’t create at all? Of course not! Certainly, I can’t create in the same way that God creates, and all creation would be impossible without His, but, in a like manner, we believe that the intercession of Mary and the saints is meaningless and impossible without the intercession of Christ.


Forgot to add to my post above. The last two paras are from source below.


“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

He mediated through Mary by the Incarnation of the Word. Which means according to Luke, Mary already mediated for all mankind, since all Grace came through Mary.



No it’s not true. I have never met a Catholic who doesn’t read or reflect on Scripture. I’m sure there are some out there who don’t but I haven’t met one yet. Many parishes including mine have Bible Study.

The Mass is the source and summit of our faith. It should be noted that every Mass has two readings or more from the Old Testament and one from the Gospel of either Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. These readings form most of the Homily (sermon). The Mass itself is saturated in Scripture (see the process for a standard Mass below)

Introductory Rites:

Sign of the Cross:
“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19; cf. John 14:13-14; Acts 2:21)
Liturgical Greeting:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor 13:14)
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:2; Eph 1:2)
“The Lord be with you.” (2 Tim 4:22; cf. Matt 1:23; 28:20)
People’s Response:
“And with your spirit” (cf. Gal 6:18; 2 Tim 4:22)
Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water (see Ezek 36:25; cf. Num 8:7a)
Penitential Act:
Intro: “Let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” (cf. Ps 51:5)
“I confess to almighty God…” (cf. Lev 5:5; Neh 1:5-9; Dan 9:3-19; James 5:16)
“Have mercy on us, O Lord. / For we have sinned against you. / Show us, O Lord, your mercy. / And grant us your salvation.” (Ps 41:4)
“Lord, Have Mercy” (Matt 15:22; 17:15; 20:30-31; cf. Ps 123:3)
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” (Luke 2:14; cf. Rev 4:11; 5:11-14)
“We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you…” (Cf. Ps 148:13)
“Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son” (cf. Ps 2:7; John 1:14)
“Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29)
Prayers concluded by “Amen” (Neh 8:6; Ps 41:13; Rom 16:27; Heb 13:20-21; Rev 7:16)

Liturgy of the Word:

Introductory/Concluding Dialogues:
“A reading from the book/letter of…”
“The Word of the Lord” (1 Peter 1:25) - “Thanks be to God” (Rom 6:17; 2 Cor 9:15)
“A reading from the holy Gospel according to…” - “Glory to you, O Lord”
“The Gospel of the Lord” (Rom 16:25; Mark 1:1) - “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”
Acclamations before the Gospel:
“Alleluia” (many Psalms, esp. Ps 146-150; Rev 19:1-6)
“Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!” (cf. Ps 24:7-10; 1 Thess 2:12; 2 Tim 4:18)
“Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Dan 4:34, 37; 1 Peter 1:7)
“Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Phil 1:11)
Profession of Faith:
“I believe…” (Mark 9:24; John 11:27; cf. John 14:1; 1 John 5:10)
General Intercessions:
“We pray to the Lord” (Exod 8:29-30; 10:17-18; Jer 42:2-4; Acts 8:22-24)
“Lord, hear our prayer” (2 Kings 20:2-5; Isa 38:2-5)

Liturgy of the Eucharist:

Preparation of the Gifts:
“Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation…” (cf. 1 Chron 29:10; Ps 72:18-19; 119:10; Luke 1:68)
"Blessed be God forever. " (cf. Gen 14:20; Ps 66:20; 68:35)
Eucharistic Acclamations:
“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…” (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8)
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Ps 118:26; Mark 11:9; Matt 21:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13)
“Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:10; Matt 21:9; cf. Luke 19:38)
Words of Institution: (see Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; cf. Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25)
“Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you” (a combination of Mark 14:22; Matt 26:26; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24)
“Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (a combination of Mark 14:24; Matt 26:27b-28; cf. Luke 22:17, 20; 1 Cor 11:25)
“Do this in remembrance of me” (only Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24a, 25b)
Memorial Acclamations:
“We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 16:22)
“When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 11:26)
“Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.” (cf. Matt 8:25; Luke 4:42; Rom 8:21)
Lord’s Prayer:
“Our Father in heaven…” (Matt 6:9-13; cf. Luke 11:2-4; Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6)
Embolism: “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil… as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)
Doxology: “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours…”
(found only in some biblical manuscripts after Matt 6:13; cf. Rev 4:11; 11:15; 1 Chron 29:11)
Greeting of Peace:
“Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, ‘I leave you peace, my peace I give you’” (John 14:27)
“The peace of the Lord be with you always.” (cf. John 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26)
Breaking of the Bread:
“Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29, 36; Rev 5:6-13; 22:1-3)
Preparation before Communion:
“Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” (John 1:29, 36; Rev 19:9)
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (Matt 8:8; cf. Luke 7:1-10)


Concluding Rite:

Final Blessing (cf. Gen 28:3; Deut 14:29; Num 6:23-27; Ps 29:11)
“Go forth, the Mass is ended.”
“Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” (cf. Mark 16:15)
“Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” (cf. Ps 115:1; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Thess 1:12)
“Go in peace.” (cf. Exod 4:18; Deut 10:11-13; Judg 18:6; 1 Sam 1:17; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48)


Thank you everyone for your responses. I just wish these “friends” of mine would quit attacking it just because they’re Protestant.

I am glad I can have people clarify this for me. Thank you.


This is exactly correct.

A mediator is someone who gets two parties to agree on something. Moses was a mediator between God and man. Moses went up and down the mountain at least eight times bringing God’s proposals before the people and the people’s answer back to God.

Mary was also a mediator between God and man. Mary mediated between the servants at the wedding and God incarnate - her son - when her son didn’t want to act.

Jesus alone however, is the perfect mediator between God and man because he alone is both God and man.



Oh! Okay, so now I understand what it meant by one. :slight_smile: I have also seen where the Protestants, what happened was a long time after the Apostles, etc… that they just broke away from the Catholic Church, and so the man on the video said that apparently (in a Protestant’s point of view) that the people that were worshiping God and Jesus at the time of Apostles were “supposedly” doing it wrong, and this guy just realized that the Protestant way was correct.

Then he said, that the guy that was supposedly correct, was supposedly the one doing it correct, and then he said that he is sticking to the Catholic Church, because that is what was first.

Anyways, thank you!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit